Dear Reader: Google no longer supports Feedburner RSS! To receive feeds / email alerts of new posts, please register below, right.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Thirty donkeys and a boiled frog

The Mogambo Guru (Richard Daughty) says that a modern US dollar buys what you could have got for about 2 cents in 1913. The same is true of the UK.

The question is, can this go on indefinitely? Is it like slowly boiling a frog, or will the frog never die? Doomsters are looking for a final cataclysm, but there have been periodic bubbles and busts for a very long time.

Maybe inflation is simply a slow crime, openly and unendingly committed against savers. We worry about interest rates, market crashes, insolvencies and unemployment, and miss the big story because it's so obvious:

The smuggler

Every first of the month the Mullah would cross the border with thirty donkeys with two bales of straw on each. Each time the custom person would ask the Mullah's profession and the Mullah would reply, "I am an honest smuggler."

So each time The Mullah, his donkeys and the bales of straw would be searched from top to toe. Each time the custom folk would not find anything. Next week the Mullah would return without his donkeys or bales of straw.

Years went by and the Mullah prospered in his smuggling profession to the extent that he retired. Many years later the custom person too had retired. As it happened one day the two former adversaries met in a country far from home. The two hugged each other like old buddies and started talking.

After a while the custom person asked the question which had been bugging him over the years, "Mullah, please let me know what were you smuggling all those years ago?"

The mullah thought for a few seconds and finally revealed his open secret, "Donkeys."


I think the ultimate-crash predictions are an expression of the desire for Justice to arrive, like a deus ex machina. Perhaps it's better simply not to be the victim oneself.

Or saddle 'em up for the Gold Rush?

Illustration from THE GOLD RUSH DIARY OF FRANK McCREARY (1850)

No comments: